You're going to love this beer…you're genetically predisposed to
Ciaran Giblin loves beer. A lot. That brewmance has carried Giblin, a proper brewmaster, down an extreme path. He's taken the guesswork out of taste trial and error and used his own DNA to perfect a beer he's genetically predisposed to enjoy; it's a double IPA fittingly called Double Helix.
You too can buy what his body chemistry dictates is an ideal pale ale from Meantime Brewing Company, where he works. He thinks your body will enjoy it, but if you truly want to slake your thirst for sudsy perfection once and for all, you can just have him pour you your own DNA-specific pint (well, 2,000 pints actually). All he needs is your spit. And about $42,000 CAD.
If that sounds steep for a cold one, consider first the process and what you're getting. Meantime Brewery has partnered up with personal genetics outfit 23andMe (that's how Giblin made Double Helix). Once you mail them your saliva, they'll analyze "hereditary variations in your oral taste receptors." More specifically, they'll analyze your TAS2R38 gene. If you missed that day in Genetics 101, TAS2R38 genetically dictates your predilection for certain flavour profiles on the sweetness and bitterness spectrum. It's the reason you love, or hate, foods like cabbage, tonic water, coffee, brussel sprouts, and yes, certain beers.
With that they'll have a good idea of what kind of beer you'll find palatable and can start flavour mapping a bespoke brew based on your genetically driven tastes. It's unlikely you'll be disappointed as you still get a chance to savor and spice your own made-to-flavour beer before it gets bottled: one-on-one consultation and sampling with Giblin himself finalizes the production of no less than 2,000 pints of your very own DNAle. Of course, you get to name your craft beer baby too. But if you want creative design input on the logo and packaging, it'll cost you extra. Other extras include a pint glass that molds to the shape of your hand, and making your beer available to the public at large, if you want to share yourself with the world.
Unsurprisingly, Giblin will tell you it's worth it, if you're true beer lover. He told media, "If you want to make a beer you're going to love, you have to really mean it and go the extra mile – in this case, determine your genetically determined taste preferences first."
Still, it's a long way to go for perfect palatability in a beverage that you don't ever really buy, so much as rent.
Marc Beaulieu is a writer, producer and host of the live Q&A show guyQ LIVE @AskMen.